Celtic great Davie Provan has had a pop at Hearts owner Ann Budge, as he claimed she knows nothing about football.
Budge has a terrible record of managerial appointments since taking over the Jambos back in 2014. The likes of Ian Cathro and Craig Levein have been nothing short of disastrous. The appointment of Daniel Stendel, meanwhile, looks like being one that will consign Hearts to relegation if the season is to be completed.
In addition to that, Hearts have had to ask all staff to take a 50% wage-cut to deal with the current pandemic. They’re the only club in the Premiership who have taken such drastic measures. It’s a clear sign the wage bill at Tynecastle is too high to deal with the pandemic.
And Celtic great Provan, who was keen to hold fire on Budge regarding recent wage cuts, has had a pop at her football knowledge in his Scottish Sun column.
“For all her business acumen, Ann Budge has proved she knows nothing about football. Apart from her poor judgement in managers, she’s allowed the wage bill to rise like a helium balloon.
“But having slaughtered her for long enough, I’d cut her some slack right now. When Budge says Hearts couldn’t survive a six-month shutdown, people had better listen.
“I get the PFA’s resistance to wage cuts, but if players don’t take a hit, they might not have a club at all by the time this crisis is over.”
Difficult to question Budge’s business decisions
As much as Budge has shown utter negligence when it comes to the football side of things, her business acumen simply cannot be ignored.
That’s why Provan is right to say that people shouldn’t be ignorant to what she’s saying in these difficult times. When the Hearts owner comes out and makes a comment, she’s almost become a joke figure. That’s thanks to the decisions she’s made in the football department.
Yet speaking about businesses going under and making decisions on football are two totally different things. Budge has said clubs in Scotland could be looking at six months of “totally abnormal operations” (Hearts FC). That simply has to be a concern for many clubs in the country who are already struggling.
Brechin City last week effectively claimed that they’ll need donations from external sources to keep themselves going. Hibs, meanwhile, have reportedly held crisis talks to discuss potential payments being postponed already (Scottish Sun). Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, meanwhile, says Aberdeen face a £5million “black hole” in the future (The Herald).
So it’s clear clubs outside of Hearts are already trying to take action of their own. Of course, Hearts are the only club to slash their wage-bill by 50%, but their staff appear to be complying. Therefore, the move from Budge may well prove to be a smart one further down the line.
But Provan isn’t wrong in anything he says. Budge’s business sense can’t be faulted, but when it comes to the football side of things, there’s still a lack of evidence to show she has a clue.